Selling your house in a very short amount of time usually comes more out of necessity than idealization. However, when you recognize that your timeframe is limited, there ends up being a lot to do in a short amount of time. There are two parts to this process: what the realtor can do for you, and what you can do for yourself. By becoming familiar with the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and successful home sale, you can remain well-informed throughout the entire process and ensure that selling your home is going exactly the way you want it.
There are multiple reasons you could be listing your house for sale. Depending on which applies to you, you may take a different course of action during the process of sale.
Some of the reasons might be:
Basically, a sudden move either comes out of necessity or trying to strike while the iron is hot. You may not need to move, but if your neighborhood is currently in the midst of a seller’s market, it may end up benefitting you to sell now rather than waiting until your originally planned moving date.
There are many steps to take before moving, regardless of the timing, and therefore you need to consider exactly what your timeframe is, and whether your goal is to make money off the sale or be in your new location as soon as possible.
There are many agents available for you to choose from, but it’s up to you to decide who can best help you sell your home. Concentrate on people who specifically know your neighborhood, can answer your questions without hesitation, and have a record with positive sales outcomes. Most real estate information is public record, so always do your research regarding previous sales before picking the agent who can best answer the question, “What’s the best way to sell my house now?”
Besides picking someone familiar with your area, ask prospective agents several questions, including:
The more confident the realtor is, and the more initial information they can provide, the better you will ultimately feel throughout the sales process. Real estate is not always a smooth industry, and you’ll want to work with someone you can trust in the long run to get you to the point of sale and beyond.
Also, as a word to the wise, try and stay away from relying on family members or close friends who are real estate agents. While they may be strong candidates, it is not advisable to mix personal feelings with a business deal. No matter how clean the process is, there is no guarantee that someone’s feelings won’t get hurt along the way, and it could take much longer to repair those relationships down the road than it would to sell your house through a more neutral party
If one of the questions weighing on your mind during the process is, “What is the value of my home?”, then there are resources and key pieces of information that you can use to approximate that number. Many of these analyses are done regularly by real estate and other property agencies, so the information is updated regularly.
A number of sites offer tools that allow you to enter your address and get an estimated home value. These may vary slightly depending on the parameters used by each company, as well as the amount of information available. Zillow, for example, offers a helpful starting tool that can provide you with a base estimate for the value of your home. However, many of these sites recommend doing follow up research.
A comparative market analysis provides a comprehensive look not just at your home, but the homes in the surrounding areas that are listed on the market or have recently sold. Some of the factors in this analysis include:
Again, this is just an approximation, because it is a face-value estimation; it does not include any consideration for the condition of your home or any changes you may have made. This is why you need multiple sources to determine what a fair listing price for your home is: no number gives a one-size-fits-all blanket answer to the question of the value of your house.
While all these numbers have different values, together they can help you and your real estate agent determine the appropriate listing price. There is a good chance if someone is looking at one house in a prospective neighborhood, they are most likely also looking at three or four other houses in that same area. The comparison between those prices could be part of what moves a buyer to choose one house over another, despite identical features or appearance. The more numbers you have the better, because it will make both you and the buyer more informed.
Your timeline will determine what changes and how many changes you make before listing or selling your home. If you’re looking to move within a matter of weeks, consider selling your house as-is and allowing room in your listing price to make concessions for upgrades or remodels that the new owners will have to handle. Anything you can do quickly, go ahead and do yourself. Patching the holes where picture hooks were, taking down personal items, and de-cluttering rooms are all quick and easy tasks that will enhance your house no matter when you list it for sale.
If you’re looking at a longer time frame, consider those appliance upgrades or a new coat of paint. It’s amazing what little improvements will not only do to a house’s value, but also to enhance its curb appeal. When it comes to closing, it can also take pressure off the price negotiations because not as many concessions will need to be made for the modifications the incoming owner will have to make.
Another factor is when during the year you are listing a home. Many say the best time of year to sell a house is spring, especially late spring. With the usually optimistic weather forecast and the school year winding down, March, April, and May are the best months of the year to list a house for sale.
As with everything, though, the best time of year for selling depends on where you live, especially in terms of location and climate. Listing a house year-round might not be a problem in sunny San Diego, but it might be difficult trying to sell a house in snowy New England during the winter months. Either way, the real estate market is never completely dry. People are always looking for new houses, or potential relocation prospects, so while it might be safer to play in a buyer’s market when the turnover is higher, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your house in New Hampshire in January. It just might take a little longer than you were hoping for.
The best first step you can take when you’re at the point where you’re saying, “I’m ready to sell my house now”, is to be prepared on your end before the process even starts. Do your research not only into realtors and home value, but consider the presentation of your home and what alterations need to be made. Have your house inspected beforehand, and fix any issues before listing it.
Remember if you have to leave immediately and will not be in or near the house, have somebody trustworthy to keep up with regarding the process. Choosing a great realtor is vital to moving your house quickly through the selling process and making sure you end up with the best result possible.
Real estate is an unpredictable industry and no matter how many goals you set (target price, required repair projects, timeframe), you may not be able to get exactly what you want from the sale. This does not mean you’re not successful, because if you’re thinking, “I’m ready to sell my house now” then that is your endgame. Concentrate on getting the sale finished and anything else you reap from the sale can be considered icing on the cake.
When you work with a real estate agent who can meet your needs and knows your market well, you can trust that the home selling process will not be dragged out. Working with an agent is a mutually beneficial relationship: if you are not satisfied, the agent cannot be satisfied. It is their job to make sure you are pleased with the outcome, regardless of all other factors. The better your relationship with your real estate agent, the easier your whole selling process will ultimately be.